I always assumed that personal injury cases where pretty straight forward. After being in an accident, any financial losses that you suffered would be reimbursed by the liable party's insurance company. Unfortunately, things only work this way in a perfect world. In the real world, personal injury cases are extremely complex and getting the insurance company to pay a fair settlement requires the expertise of an experienced injury lawyer. Unfortunately, it took me several months to finally seek out the legal assistance I needed. As a result, I waited much longer than necessary to get the compensation I so desperately needed. During this time, I learned more about personal injury law than I ever thought I would. It is my hope that this blog will allow me to share that knowledge with you so that you can avoid making some of the same mistakes that I did.
If someone or something caused the death of a loved one, you may have to endure two different types of legal cases. The first case will be one in which the courts decide what consequence, if any, will be instilled upon the person or product's company. This could be spending time in prison, a recall and repair of the product, or large fines. It will involve determining if the defendant is guilty or innocent of causing the death and is a criminal case. The second case will be a civil case that is done for financial reasons. This case is called a wrongful death case and in many instances does not require a guilty verdict in the criminal case. Here are a few of the different types of compensation you may be able to receive.
Medical and Funeral Bills
Medical and funeral bills are the easiest category of compensation in a wrongful death case. Once all the doctors, hospitals and medical centers, and funeral home expenses come in, the total is final. In other types of cases, a lawyer and doctor may need to determine future medical costs that would be added to the claim.
Lost Wages and Future Income
Lost wages are not difficult to determine. This would be any income lost from the time of the accident until death. However, the family also has the right to receive compensation for the money the deceased would have earned if they had lived. The wrongful death attorney will need to determine approximately how long the person would have survived if the accident had not occurred. The deceased's current age, medical condition before the accident, lifestyle, job, position, and any expected promotions will need to be carefully considered. However, a realistic amount can be determined with all the right information.
Loss of Consortium and Guidance
Loss of consortium and guidance is a tricky compensation category. The loss of consortium pertains to the deceased's spouse. The spouse will grieve from the loss. Loss of guidance pertains to any children of the deceased. They will not have that parent there as they grow to help with problems in life, encourage them, and be there for the important life happenings. The loss of a parent will be felt their entire life. No amount of money can ever replace these losses, so your attorney, the court, and the jury will look at how the deceased interacted with their family and come up with an amount.
While it is not mandatory to file a civil wrongful death claim, it would be best to talk with a wrongful death attorney as soon as things have settled. You do not want to find out you cannot afford your current lifestyle or send your children to college when it is too late to make any claims. Contact an accident & personal injury attorney for more information.Share